Friday, April 08, 2011



A prim hobo she boarded the train with a ticket
wearing an orange and black California skirt,
her knees still raw from the playground.

An Oakland bus carried her over the bridge. She lost
her hairdryer but soon her hair was long
frizzy with the wet air; it didn't matter.

To the haunting chime of the trolley,
she rented a tiny apartment on Nob Hill. Standing on the window ledge
she gazed over the rooftops, watched the boats in the harbor
while down in the courtyard the wild cats came to feed.

Her legs ached from walking the steep hills past
mysterious houses behind tall fences, past
the bay, the basking seals. The Sutro baths echoed. The
seed pods strung around her neck clicked.

Everything was free: the food, the clinic, love. The Mime Troupe played
for free in the city parks, park benches became beds.
In a piano bar Little Richard played for free
and a ten dollar drink.

In Sausalito she ate newspaper wrapped fish and chips
bought Capezios and hitchhiked back
across the fog bound arch with an elderly lady in a
maroon Desoto.

Now elderly herself, she sits on a ragged porch
in Vermont and sucks on her artificial teeth,
watches her tame cat stalk the spring robins in the
muddy field while the early morning
fog lifts in its own good time.


Andrea said...

Suki, this is a wonderful poem, I loved to read it, twice, and it's like a movie, only better:)

Marion said...

Wow, this poem is fabulous, Suki! It reads very well, with great rhythm...and it left me wanting more.

There must certainly be a few more stanzas between the young girl and the elderly woman? I'd love to read those, too.

In the vet's office the other day, I picked up a volume of poetry. In it there was a long poem about a man's life...your poem reminds me a lot of it.

Thanks so much for posting's become a favourite!

Tess Kincaid said...

Suki, this is marvelous. Your best yet. So ripe with personal experience, taking us back to the summer of love, to Haight-Ashbury, the park benches, the free food and the clicking of beads. Brava.

sukipoet said...

thanks all. this poem is in around the third draft and not finished. yes, I appreciate the idea that there can be more between young woman and old. thanks. well, really the experiences in SF could be a novel LOL.

Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

This just flowed, I see you in every 'frame' and that's a good thing :-)

Oh, I keep forgetting to tell you, I love the Weleda Calendula lotion you recommended. I got the 'baby' version and while it doesn't make my face less itchy, I sure feel good about what I am putting on my face and it smells delightful.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Thoughtful memories placed in beautiful, slow rhythm...yes, could easily be a collection of poems about those days and nights.

Mary Richmond said...

love it!

Kimmie said...

..... And blogs her poetry. Bet you didn't foresee that back then :)

I am now reading. "thousand cranes" by Kawabata. Thank you for the tip

studio lolo said...

I clearly see a younger Suki in every line. This is wonderful!

I hope your metaphorical fog lifts sooner rather than later.


patti said...

Love it Suki! Love the glimpses into your life jounrey.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It is fun to reminisce.

Anonymous said...

This is one of your absolute best, Suki. Wow.

Tom Rubenoff said...


kj said...

wow suki, those last lines: am i to be accepting or agitated? there is such sadness in the old woman and such vitality in her youth.

what a masterful description of san fran in the 60's. i was there along with a generation. you've nailed this.

and then you brought me to the broken porch, and then into the way of things.

i love this, suki


suenosdeuomi said...

Very evocative, the mime troups, the music, the beads, the freedom, bridged beautifully.